A Ukrainian military official said on Saturday that Germany will provide a new military aid package worth 2.7 billion euros ($2.97 billion) to Ukraine, including 30 Leopard tanks, in a major and unprecedented step. .
While Andrija Yarmek said that Berlin will also provide four Iris-T air defense systems, 20 Mardier armored personnel carriers, 200 reconnaissance drones, 100 armored vehicles and a large amount of ammunition.
This comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits Rome for talks with Italian political leaders and Pope Francis.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is embarking on a diplomatic mission to Italy and the Vatican, where he is expected to hold talks with senior officials of the Italian government and the Roman Catholic Church.
Reports said that a possible meeting with Pope Francis is of particular interest, given the revelations about attempts by the Vatican to end the war in Ukraine.
Upon his arrival, Zelensky wrote on Twitter that it was an “important visit to bring Ukraine closer to victory”.
Ahead of his visit to the Vatican, Zelensky was also scheduled to hold separate meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
The Ukrainian leader’s visit marks his first visit to Italy since last year’s Russian war.
The Vatican has confirmed that something is in the works, without providing any details.
This week, the pope met Russia’s outgoing ambassador to the Vatican, Alexander Avdeev, with Italian newspaper Messagero reporting that the Vatican may have given the envoy a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia lost “the war in their minds,” Zelensky said.
In his evening address, President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russians were “already internally prepared for defeat”.
He stated, “They have already lost this war in their minds. We must put pressure on them every day until their sense of defeat turns into flight and losses.”
Ukraine claims to have recaptured swathes of land from Russian forces near Bakhmut, the scene of the war’s longest and bloodiest battle.
On Friday, Moscow acknowledged the retreat of its forces north of the city.
What Moscow described, “unfortunately, is called a ‘defeat’, not a regrouping,” said Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the special Russian Wagner Group that led the campaign in Bakhmut, in an audio message.